HARDY — From the great outdoors to shopping, browsing, or relaxing the day away, Hardy is one town in the Ozark Gateway region that provides all this and more in Sharp County.
From its historic downtown full of shops and eateries to the nearby Spring River to swim, fish and float, Hardy takes visitors back to days gone by.
Today, Hardy retains its ‘old town’ flavor. The downtown area looks much like it did during the Model-T days… and the merchants want to keep it that way! Most of the modern changes have occurred at the ends of town, leaving the heart of Main Street a tiny preserve for quality antique shops, craft stores, specialty shops and gift nooks. The cool, clear waters of Spring River, a favorite of tourists for decades, flow just one block off Main Street, offering swimming, excellent fishing, and canoeing.
The idea for the Old Hardy Town mural, located at the corner of Spring and Main Streets, came about when Kenneth King had a wish to donate something of lasting value to the town that had been so good to him and his family since he started his business in 1963. In the summer of 1992, in an effort to preserve a part of Hardy’s rapidly vanishing heritage, Mr. King commissioned two artists, Ernie Patton and Kermit Kroll, to paint a panorama of five long-gone landmarks on an outside brick wall. The mural is approximately 80 feet long and 23 feet high.
One of the five scenes depicted on the mural is the Frisco Railroad Depot which stood in Hardy from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. During those years, the depot served as a social gathering place and business location. On Sundays after church, young people would say, “Lets go to the station and watch the train come in.” Unfortunately, after the dwindling of rain service in the 1970s, the depot was razed and this brought regret to area residents, according to historical accounts.
However, there’s no reason to be sad.
In fact, there’s just too much to see and do. Don’t take our word for it. Go see for yourself.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Lacy, 34, spent most of her life in the hills of Lawrence County. Today, she lives in Cave City, the home of “World’s Sweetest Watermelons,” in what’s known as the Prince Matlock house. Its former owner helped create what’s known as the Cave Courts where the city’s cave lies above the Crystal River. He fashioned his home out of the same rocks and materials that are found among the cave’s property, and she feels blessed to now be its caretaker for many more years to come.